Director of golf | Sebonack Golf Club and Cabot Saint Lucia
Jason McCarty splits time as director of golf at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y., and Cabot Saint Lucia, a Coore and Crenshaw-designed course that will open in 2022 in the eastern Caribbean. McCarty, of New Zealand, identifies his keys to leadership and the challenges created by the ongoing pandemic.
The First Call: What is your handicap index?
Jason McCarty: I actually don’t keep a handicap index, but we can call it scratch.
TFC: In one sentence, describe what you do for a living.
JM: I aim to create an environment in which our members can enjoy the game of golf and all the positive social experiences that come with being part of a private club.
TFC: What time do you wake in the morning, and what time do you typically start the workday?
JM: I wake up at 5:45 a.m. and am typically on property between 7 and 7:30 a.m.
TFC: What are key elements to leadership or to being a good leader?
JM: The key elements of leadership that I try to embody are; Leading by example, radiating positive energy, having a proactive attitude and striving to recognize and develop talent in every area of the operation.
TFC: What changes, if any, have you made based on the events of the past year?
JM: I am very fortunate to work in an industry that has shown extraordinary growth over the course of the pandemic. As a result, the biggest change has been a demand for extensions to both the day and the season, to allow for more playing time for our members. With these longer days and longer seasons, I have had to work to create a better work-life balance to ensure I’m successful in managing my professional responsibilities while still prioritizing time with my family.
TFC: What's the secret to your success?
JM: I’m not sure it is really a secret. I see my success as a result of my unwavering passion for personal and professional development combined with the meaningful relationships I have established with our members.
TFC: Who is your role model?
JM: I would name two. First, I certainly learned the value of work ethic and my drive to succeed from my father, Brent McCarty. Second, my first employer, John Croskery, who was the head golf professional at Remuera Golf Club in New Zealand. John is revered for his dedication to his profession and was a great mentor for assistant pros coming up through the industry. I was lucky to learn from him.
TFC: Knowing what you know today, what professional advice would you give a younger you?
JM: Work hard, continue to educate yourself and develop your skillset. Strive to be your best every day, seek out great mentors and build meaningful relationships with your members.
TFC: What’s the last book you read?
JM: I recently reread "Multipliers" by Liz Wiseman. I love this book, as it identifies how some leaders are clearly skilled to develop their team members, while others lead in a way that is detrimental to the output and growth of their organization. Most importantly, it provided me with a clear road map to evaluate my own leadership patterns.
TFC: What’s the last movie you saw?
JM: I haven’t seen a movie in ages, but I recently watched and loved "Ted Lasso." There are so many great messages in that show.
TFC: What’s on your playlist?
JM: I enjoy a wide range of musical genres, ranging from music my daughters call “old school” — like Elton John and Queen — to current artists such as Post Malone.
TFC: When I’m not at work, you can find me ...
JM: Playing tennis, exercising, working on my golf game and spending time with my family.
TFC: What is your greatest extravagance?
JM: I think my greatest extravagance is my pursuit of continued personal and professional development. Whether that’s seeking out new courses to play, new coaching technology or meeting with the best industry leaders, I strive for continuous personal and professional improvement.
TFC: What was your path to the golf industry?
JM: I was introduced to the game of golf by a family friend at the age of 11 and, soon after that, I developed a great friendship with the golf pro at our small local course in Bay of Islands, New Zealand. He mentored me and was instrumental in developing my love for the game. My first job in golf came a number of years later, at Remuera Golf Club under John Croskery.
TFC: What are the favorite golf courses you have played?
JM: This is such a hard question. In the U.S., I would say Sebonack along with Cypress Point, Augusta and Pine Valley. In New Zealand, it would be Cape Kidnappers, Kauri Cliffs and Tara Iti.
TFC: Which golf courses do you belong to?
JM: I have been very fortunate to work at some of the best courses in the world and, to be honest, it would be difficult to find a club to join that my family and I would enjoy more.